Volume 7 Issue 4

Natural Resources and Society

Gábor Demeter and Beatrix F. Romhányi Special Editors of the Thematic Issue

Contents

ARTICLES

Éva Bodovics
Weather Anomalies and Their Economic Consequences: Penury in Northeastern Hungary in the Late 1870s 179

Abstract

Abstract

This study investigates an episode of penury in 1879–1880 in Borsod and Zemplén Counties which occurred as one of the negative consequences of a short-term weather change which was experienced across Europe in the late 1870s and early 1880s. From the mid-1870s on, due to the wetter and cooler weather, the annual crop yields repeatedly fell below the usual and expected averages in Hungary. After a catastrophic harvest in the autumn of 1879, when the quantity of harvested cereals was sufficient neither for reserves nor for spring sowing, the situation became severe. 1878 had also been a bad year for agriculture: the severe floods in the second half of 1878 not only had washed the crops from the fields but had also covered them with thick sludge that made it impossible to sow in autumn.
Since the spring of 1879 was characterized by unfavorable conditions for agriculture (increased rainfall, widespread floods, low average spring temperatures), the local and national authorities continuously kept their eyes on the crops. Thanks to this preliminary attention, the administration was able to respond quickly and in an organized manner to the bad harvest in July and August and could avert catastrophe at national level.
The leadership of the two counties responded more or less in the same way to the near-famine conditions. First, they asked the Treasury to suspend tax collection until the next harvest at least so that the farmers who were facing financial difficulties would not have to go into debt. Second, they appealed to the government for financial and crop relief to save the unemployed population from starvation. For those who were able to work, they asked for the approval of public works and major construction projects from the Ministry of Transport and Public Works. For many, such state-funded road construction or river regulation projects were the only way to make a living. Third, the county administrations also gave seeds for spring sowing to the farmers. While Borsod county survived the years of bad harvests without dire problems due to the higher proportion of better quality fields, in the more mountainous region of Zemplén, most landowners had smaller and lower quality lands, and they often chose to emigrate to avoid starvation. These difficult conditions may have provided the initial impetus for mass emigration to Western Europe and America.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Sándor Rózsa
Evaluation of the Floodplain Farming of the Settlements of Nagykunság Based on the First Cadastral Survey 213

Abstract

Abstract

River control was perhaps the most significant form of anthropogenic environmental intervention in the Carpathian Basin, and in recent decades it has been the focus of considerable attention in the scientific community. However, in order to be able to evaluate this intervention, we need to know more about the floodplain management before the river regulations. In this essay, I provide data concerning the eighteenth-century floodplain management, on the basis of the first cadastral survey documents.
According to Klára Dóka and other researchers, the settlements of the region along the Tisza River were in crisis in the early nineteenth century because the floodplain farming system was not adequate to sustain the growing population. However, they based this conclusion on sources concerning population growth, and they did not substantiate their essential contention concerning overpopulation with accurate data on production and consumption. I have sought to determine whether there really was an overpopulation crisis in Nagykunság at the end of the eighteenth century. The main question concerns the relationship between production and needs. The next question is whether the farmers had excess grain which they could take to markets. In other words, was the floodplain farming system profitable? My research constitutes a contribution to the debate between Bertalan Andrásfalvy and Miklós Szilágyi on floodplain management.
The first cadastral survey documents contain detailed and reliable data on the management of the settlements, and I contend that they are more accurate and useful than the tax censuses which were compiled at the same time. The first step in the research was to establish the average annual consumption of the population.
According to the data of the cadastral survey, production exceeded the needs of the population in each settlement, and the value of the production surplus covered the tax burdens. Wheat had a marketable share of the yield, come to 30–40 percent of the total. Assuming that livestock breeding was even more advantageous, one could contend that the floodplain farming system was profitable. However, natural resources are distributed disproportionately as a result of property relations. In Nagykunság, this found its most dramatic embodiment in the redemptus-irredemptus contrast.
There were several events in the late eighteenth century, such as the construction of the Mirhó dam and migration to Bácska, on the basis of which researchers have inferred that the floodplain farming system was in crisis, but the cadastral survey suggests otherwise.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Beatrix F. Romhányi, Zsolt Pinke, and József Laszlovszky 
Environmental Impacts of Medieval Uses of Natural Resources in the Carpathian Basin 241

Abstract

Abstract

Various natural resources were abundant in medieval Hungary, and contemporary sources offer a portrait of the kingdom as rich because of these natural conditions. The different forms in which these resources were put to use were decisive for the history of the Carpathian Basin, including its environmental history. In the Middle Ages, there were two key economic activities which played an especially significant role both in the sphere of local production and in foreign trade and which also had a significant environmental impact: livestock farming on the Great Plain (primarily but not exclusively of cattle) and mining, including the processing of primary metals, which was closely related to mining in certain mountain areas. On the basis of analyses of sources drawn from the monastic network, medieval rural churches, and selected archaeological findings and written evidence, we examine the environmental consequences of these activities with particular focus on the changes in the settlement network and relative population density. Our data suggest that the long-term effect of the prevailing practices in the most lucrative, export-oriented economic sectors of the late medieval Kingdom of Hungary—both of which contributed to the ability of the country to withstand pressures from the advancing Ottoman for about 130 years and to some extent even beyond—was serious environmental degradation in the affected regions. The environmental problems caused by these practices could not be fully overcome for a long time. Certainly, the impact was increased by the consequences of the Ottoman wars and the changing climatic conditions of the Little Ice Age, but the process began well before the Early Modern crisis, in some respects as early as in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Miklós Kázmér and Erzsébet Győri
Millennial Record of Earthquakes in the Carpathian-Pannonian Region: Historical and Archaeoseismology 284

Abstract

Abstract

This is a short essay on earthquakes in the Carpathian-Pannonian region and its surroundings. Earthquakes have been recorded using seismographs since 1902 in Hungary. The relatively small number of seismic events and the long return period of major earthquakes make it necessary to use historical data in order to assess seismic hazard. Historical earthquake catalogues aim for exhaustiveness both in time and space, but they are limited by the lack of documentary data. A simple arithmetical assessment is provided to estimate our lack of knowledge of past seismic events. All destructive earthquakes of the twentieth century (above magnitude 5) are included in the catalogue (100%). Of the seismic events which took place in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, only 23% are on record, while this figure drops to 4.6 percent for the eleventh–sixteenth centuries and 0.2 percent for the first millennium AD. On average, we have no information about 90% of the destructive earthquakes which occurred in the Carpathian-Pannonian region over the course of the past two millennia.
According to both instrumental measurements and historical sources, there were relatively few earthquakes in the central era of the period of time in question. This era coincides roughly with the two centuries of Ottoman rule (the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries). Were there really few earthquakes over the course of these two centuries, or we do not have the relevant records? We contend that warfare resulted in the destruction of settlements and the annihilation of documents.
Fragile historical documents can be supplemented by the study of robust edifices, an approach to the study of the past which is known as archaeoseismology. Evidence of damage and destruction can be identified, and earthquake parameters can be assessed. One can find evidence corroborating other sources indicating an earthquake (e.g. Savaria), and one can also identify traces of previously unknown seismic events (Visegrád). One can also assign intensity values to the existing historical records. Damage observed to a Roman road in Savaria, to the medieval donjon of Nagyvázsony offers support for our fundamental contention. In order to understand the seismic hazard that was faced in the Carpathian-Pannonian region, renewed study of historical sources and new archaeoseismological investigations are needed.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

András Grynaeus
Dendrochronology and Environmental History: The Difficulties of Interpretation 302

Abstract

Abstract

The study provides insights into questions concerning forest management and timber use by drawing on case studies in the dendrochronological research which has been underway over the course of the past couple of decades in Hungary. The essay refers to natural resource-use and historical and demographic questions which arose in analyses of the wooden materials. The study questions some of the topoi of historical research, such as the immense forest loss traditionally associated with the Ottoman wars.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Viktória Kiss
Transformations of Metal Supply during the Bronze Age in the Carpathian Basin 315

Abstract

Abstract

This paper presents recent research questions which have been raised and methods which have been used in the study of Bronze Age metallurgy in connection with available natural resources (ores) in and around the Carpathian Basin. This topic fits in the most current trends in the research on European prehistoric archaeology. Given the lack of written sources, copper and bronze artifacts discovered in settlement and cemetery excavations and prehistoric mining sites provide the primary sources on which the studies in question are based. The aim of compositional and isotope analysis of copper and tin ores, metal tools, ornaments, and weapons is to determine the provenience of the raw materials and further an understanding of the chaine operatiore of prehistoric metal production. The Momentum Mobility Research Group of the Institute of Archaeology, Research Centre for the Humanities studies these metal artifacts using archaeological and scientific methods. It has focused on the first thousand years of the Bronze Age (2500–1500 BC). Multidisciplinary research include non-destructive XRF, PGAA (promptgamma activation), TOF-ND (time-of-flight neutron diffraction) analyses and neutron radiography, as well as destructive methods, e.g. metal sampling for compositional and lead isotope testing, alongside archaeological analysis. Microstructure studies are also efficient methods for determining the raw material and production techniques. The results suggest the use of regional ore sources and interregional connections, as well as several transformations in the exchange network of the prehistoric communities living in the Carpathian Basin.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Zoltán Czajlik
Along the Danube and at the Foothills of the North-Eastern Hungarian Mountains: Some Data on the Distribution of Stone Raw Materials in the Late Iron Age 331

Abstract

Abstract

Stones as raw materials are important environmental resources often found at prehistoric sites. Since their various types essentially retained their original geological features, it is generally relatively easy to identify their origin. Nevertheless, there is hardly any systematic research on late prehistoric stone raw materials. Furthermore, these materials are mentioned very inconsistently and the geological terms, definitions and analyzes are absent from the discussions. The general picture that we can sketch based on secondary literature is therefore mosaic-like. However, it is by no means impossible to identify extraction sites. Based on on-site experience and using modern analyzes, it is possible, for example, to differentiate between individual types of sandstone and andesite. From the perspective of future research, analyzes of late Iron Age stone materials from well-studied archaeological contexts could contribute to understand better how stones as raw materials were used in late prehistoric periods.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

BOOK REVIEWS

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Ottoman Law of War and Peace: The Ottoman Empire and its Tributaries from the North of the Danube. By Viorel Panaite. Reviewed by Gábor Kármán 343

Tábori sebesültellátás Magyarországon a XVI–XVIII. században [Care for the wounded in the field in Hungary in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries]. By Katalin Mária Kincses. Reviewed by Katalin Simon 347

Styrian Witches in European Perspectives: Ethnographic Fieldwork. By Mirjam Mencej. Reviewed by Gergely Brandl 350

The Habsburg Civil Service and Beyond: Bureaucracy and Civil Servants from the Vormärz to the Inter-War Years. Edited by Franz Adlgasser and Fredrik Lindström. Reviewed by Mátyás Erdélyi 355

Az uradalom elvesztése: Nemesi családok a 19. századi Békés megyében [The loss of the estate: Noble families in Békés County in the nineteenth century]. By Adrienn Szilágyi. Reviewed by Krisztián Horváth Gergely 358

Deszkafalak és potyavacsorák: Választói magatartás Pesten a Tisza Kálmán-korszakban [Plank walls and freebee dinners: Voter behavior in Pest in the era of Kálmán Tisza]. By Péter Gerhard. Reviewed by Réka Matolcsi 362

Men under Fire: Motivation, Morale and Masculinity among Czech Soldiers in the Great War, 1914–1918. By Jiří Hutečka. Reviewed by Tamás Révész 366

The Fortress: The Great Siege of Przemyśl. By Alexander Watson. Reviewed by Kamil Ruszała 369

Tiltott kapcsolat: A magyar–lengyel ellenzéki együttműködés 1976–1989 [A forbidden relationship: Oppositional cooperation between Hungarians and Poles, 1976–1989]. By Miklós Mitrovits. Reviewed by Ferenc Laczó 373

Dissidents in Communist Central Europe: Human Rights and the Emergence of New Transnational Actors. By Kacper Szulecki. Reviewed by Una Blagojević 377

Corn Crusade: Khrushchev’s Farming Revolution in the Post-Stalin Soviet Union. By Aaron Hale-Dorrell. Reviewed by Alexandra Bodnár 380

 

Volume 7 Issue 4

Early Humanism in Hungary and in East Central Europe

Farkas Gábor Kiss Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Farkas Gábor Kiss
Origin Narratives: Pier Paolo Vergerio and the Beginnings of Hungarian Humanism 471

Abstract

Abstract

Earlier studies have attributed a pivotal role to Pier Paolo Vergerio Sr in transmitting the fundamental ideas of humanism to the writer Johannes (Vitéz) of Zredna, the first acolyte of Renaissance humanism in Hungary. This paper investigates the possible contacts between Pier Paolo Vergerio Sr and Johannes of Zredna, mapping the channels through which Johannes of Zredna first encountered humanist rhetoric. Whereas many of these possible connections turned out to be historical fictions that proved to be untenable in the form they are described in later historiography, there seems to be a genuine core to the embellished stories. I argue that his direct use of Italian early humanist texts (Guarino’s translation of Plutarch, Gasparino Barzizza’s letters) and an avid reading of Livy’s historical work (witnessed by the ms. Cod. 3099 of the Austrian National Library) are the earliest testimonies of his humanistic interests.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Attila Tuhári
Catullus on a Coat-of-Arms: A Pictorial Paraphrase of Catull. 11 from Late Medieval Hungary 497

Abstract

Abstract

The paper discusses the coat-of-arms of Mathias of Szente (or of Sáró) granted by Ladislaus V in 1456, the depiction of which includes–in my opinion–a pictorial paraphrase of a Catullian metaphor. This could offer a more satisfactory, but unusual answer to the emerging problems regarding the interpretation of the composition. The study attempts to reveal how Catullus’ poem could reach Mathias of Szente, as well as the possible connotations it might have awaken on a broader range of the society.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Dániel Pócs
The Codices of György Handó 508

Abstract

Abstract

The Florentine bookseller and cartolaio Vespasiano da Bisticci included the life of three Hungarian prelates in his Vite, dedicated to the the lives of his most famous clients. Two of the Hungarians, the archbishop of Esztergom, János Vitéz of Zredna, and the bishop of Pécs, the poet Janus Pannonius, are well-known personalities of early humanism in Hungary and some of their codices prepared in Florence still exist. The third one, however, György Handó (c. 1430–1480), provost of Pécs cathedral chapter from 1465 until his death, is much less known. Scholars of early humanism in Hungary were unable to contextualize the information given by Bisticci on Handó’s library, because no other written source could confirm his accounts, and no manuscript could been identified as a Handó codex. The present study demonstrates that contrary to the common belief that his codices had been completely lost, there are, in fact, twenty manuscripts originating from this early humanistic library. This research result is based on the identification of his coat of arms.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Dávid Molnár
“Many laughed at the thought of this illustrious young man reading books:” About Miklós Báthory’s Library and His Cicero-Codex 573

Abstract

Abstract

This paper pursues an anecdote of Galeotto Marzio about the erudite Miklós Báthory, bishop of Vác, who read Cicero’s Tusculan disputation while he was waiting with other noblemen for the royal diet in Rákosmező, and the mocking attitude of the Hungarian political elite toward any intellectual endeavor. The traces lead to the National Széchényi Library in Budapest which has in its holdings a manuscript of Cicero under Cod. lat. 150. This book might have been in the hands of Báthory at Rákosmező. The purpose of this paper is to confirm the scarcely known plans of Miklós Báthory, bishop of Vác, to found a Platonic school on the basis of what little remains of his library and, mainly, the notes of his Cicero codex. This information perfectly harmonizes with his well-known aspirations to found a Platonic school in Buda and later his gymnasium in Vác, which seems to have been permeated with a kind of Platonist spirituality. After a summary of the life of Miklós Báthory, the paper offers an outline of the remains of his once rich library and then finally an examination of the history of the Cicero codex and its marginalia.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Gábor Almási
The Work Ethic in Humanist Biographies: The Case of Willem Canter 594

Abstract

Abstract

This article is a case study of the work ethic as represented in biographies of humanists. It draws first and foremost on Melchior Adam’s anthology of biographies of learned “German” men of 1615–1620. The analysis of some of the longer biographies reveals that Adam was more dependent on his sources than previous research supposed. Moreover, the stress on the education and diligence of the individuals in several of the biographies follows not from Adam’s interests, but rather from the logic of humanist biographies, a primary function of which was to legitimate social rise, redefine social values according to meritocratic principles, and promote the Renaissance ideology of virtue. The vita of William Canter, which I analyze in considerable detail, illustrates how early modern biographies tended to construct the self on the basis of ancient and more recent clichés and to present ideal types. The work ethic represented by Canter’s scholarly persona reveals that hard work in the Renaissance was intrinsically linked to disciplined time-management.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Book Reviews

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Trust, Authority, and the Written Word in the Royal Towns of Medieval Hungary. By Katalin Szende. Reviewed by Agnieszka Bartoszewicz 620

Confraternity, Mendicant Orders, and Salvation in the Middle Ages: The Contribution of the Hungarian Sources (c. 1270–c. 1530). By Marie-Madeleine de Cevins. Reviewed by Eszter Konrád 623

The Árpáds and Their Wives: Queenship in Early Medieval Hungary 1000–1301. By Attila Zsoldos. Reviewed by Christopher Mielke 626

Die Hungarica Sammlung der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle: Herausgegeben von Brigitte Klosterberg und István Monok. Alte Drucke 1495–1800, Bd. I. A–O, Bd. II. P–Z. Bearbeitet von Attila Verók. Reviewed by Dorottya Piroska B. Székely 629

Matézis, mechanika, metafizika: A 18–19. századi matematika, fizika és csillagászat eredményeinek reprezentációja a filozófiában és az irodalomban [Mathesis, mechanics, metaphysics: The representation of findings in mathematics, physics, and astronomy in philosophy and literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries]. Edited by Dezső Gurka. Reviewed by Tibor Bodnár-Király 632

National Indifference and the History of Nationalism in Modern Europe. Edited by Maarten Van Ginderachter and Jon Fox. Reviewed by Ágoston Berecz 636

Wirtschaftsnationalismus lokal: Interaktion und Abgrezung zwischen rumänischen und sächsischen Gewerbeorganisationen in den siebenbürgischen Zentren Hermannstadt und Kronstadt, 1868–1914. By Stéphanie Danneberg. Reviewed by Gábor Egry 639

Metropolitan Belgrade: Culture and Class in Interwar Yugoslavia. By Jovana Babović. Reviewed by John Paul Newman 642

Austrian Reconstruction and the Collapse of Global Finance 1921−1931. By Nathan, Marcus. Reviewed by Ágnes Pogány 645

History and Belonging: Representations of the Past in Contemporary European Politics. Edited by Stefan Berger and Caner Tekin. Reviewed by Orsolya Anna Sudár 649

Planning in Cold War Europe: Competition, Cooperation, Circulations (1950s–1970s). Edited by Michel Christian, Sandrine Kott, and Ondřej Matějka. Reviewed by Voicu Ion Sucală 652

Volume 7 Issue 4

Stepfamilies across Ethnicities

Gabriella Erdélyi Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Introduction

Gabriella Erdélyi
Differences between Western and East Central European Patterns of Remarriage and Their Consequences for Children Living in Stepfamilies 657
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Articles

Almut Bues
Dynasty as a Patchwork House, or the (Evil) Stepmother: The Example of Zofia Jagiellonka 669

Abstract

Abstract

The significant age difference between Princess Zofia Jagiellonka and her husband had as one advantage for the princess that she had no competitors within her age group (e.g. a stepmother). Moreover, her stepdaughters were approximately the same age and, after her husband’s death, she found herself in similar circumstances to the as a widow. Zofia Jagiellonka eventually resolved the long-standing relationship between her husband and his mistress, knowing in this regard how to defend her social position. She consciously took up the role of mediator among the relatives, and she had a mitigating effect on the tensions between father and son. Her social consciousness included providing for the welfare of the new family by meeting the expectations placed on her with regards to her stepchildren. Her life was not that of the stereotypical “evil stepmother.” Rather, she was someone from whom her stepchildren and others repeatedly sought counsel. Through her royal birth, she was (with regard to her social status) superior to her Guelph relatives, and she had the king—her brother—as her protector. In terms of her relationship to her stepchildren, it was perhaps a great advantage that she herself bore no children, and thus there was no competitive milieu at the court in Wolfenbüttel.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Andrea Fehér
Noble Lineage as Stepfamily Network: An Eighteenth-Century Noble Autobiography from the Principality of Transylvania 695

Abstract

Abstract

In this essay, I examine how an eighteenth-century Transylvanian nobleman constructed the meanings of kinship and family relations. The investigation primarily draws on the autobiographical work of László Székely (1716–1772), an educated and sensitive Transylvanian nobleman, who recorded the brief history of his family and himself. Being orphaned at a young age the author made his way out in life without the help of his biological parents, with the advice and support of his extended family: guardians, blood relatives, brothers-in-law; and other personal connections, such as servants, former colleagues, and friends. Due to the detailed description of his lineage and his constant preoccupation to record the major family events the present article offers an exhaustive study of the emotional bonds and kinship ties between some of the most important noble families from Transylvania.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Kinga Papp
Dávid Rozsnyai’s “Orphans”: A Stepfamily through Divorce in Seventeenth-Century Transylvania 726

Abstract

Abstract

My paper examines the documents pertaining to the life of a stepfamily made through divorce in seventeenth-century Transylvania. The focus is on the interfamilial relationships before and after the divorce. I examine the ways in which the attitude of the father, Dávid Rozsnyai, toward his first wife and children changed during the divorce and after formation of a new family. I also consider how the appearance of the new family members (second wife, half-siblings) affected the equilibrium within the family. My analysis shows that in Early Modern Transylvania there were social and personal customs involving the assignment of social positions to both adult and child members of a family broken by divorce, which facilitated the integration of these families into the community. The scattered family documents and witness hearings show that the divorced father ensured, through his testament and other documents, that the two sons from the two different marriages would share inherited wealth equally. In their turn, the stepbrothers worked together to pay off their father’s debts.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Katalin Simon
Remarriage Patterns and Stepfamily Formation in a German-speaking Market Town in Eighteenth-Century Hungary 757

Abstract

Abstract

First, this study addresses issues related to the gendered patterns of remarriage in an eighteenth-century market town. Second, it investigates interpersonal relationships in the new family formations, including stepparents and stepchildren. When and why did widows and widowers choose to remarry? How did new marriages effect the lives of children born into earlier marriages? Drawing on several kinds of archival sources, such as marriage contracts, council protocols, court and parish records, the paper provides an in-depth case study, which by tracking multiple marriages and children of both spouses shows the complexity of the blended families which came into existence through the remarriage of spouses.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Eleonóra Géra
“Mulier Imperiosa”: The Stepfamilies of Eva Elisabetha in Buda in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century 789

Abstract

Abstract

This article offers a case study based on examination of legal documents concerning the marital conflicts which arose in the three consecutive marriages of a wealthy burgher woman. It situates this specific case in the context of Early Modern gendered marriage patterns. The documents which were produced in the course of the judicial dissolution of the first marriage described the young wife as a slave to her elderly, tyrannical husband. Other sources, however, including documents pertaining to her second two marriages, suggest that it would be misleading to argue, on the basis of the documents generated in the course of her divorce, the wife completely adapted herself to the patriarchal norms of her age. As her later marriages and economic successes show, she was not at all a helpless woman, though she could pretend to be one when this role served her interests. Her case suggests that the patriarchal model transmitted by the normative literature of the age could be successfully challenged, and ambitious, capable women, who had good financial and family backgrounds, had were able at least to some extent to negotiate relationships actively and challenge cultural norms. The documents concerning her second and third marriages add novel information to the study of the relationships between stepsiblings and halfsiblings. This case study highlights, moreover, the ways wedded women and widows could rely at times on the support of their families of origin
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Sándor Nagy
Family Formation, Ethnicity, Divorce, and Marriage Law: Jewish Divorces in Hungary, 1786–1914 812

Abstract

Abstract

The role of broken marriages in the formation of “modern” patchwork families is well known, but if one tries to examine its historical roots, one encounters the problem of defining divorce and–despite the expansion of civil law–the differences in perceptions of divorce according to Church denominations. This study aims to consider the above mentioned difficulties in light of the development of Hungarian marriage law and the problem of Jewish divorces.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Book Reviews

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

The Economy of Medieval Hungary. Edited by József Laszlovszky, Balázs Nagy, Péter Szabó, and András Vadas. East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450–1450 49. Reviewed by Christoph Sonnlechner 843

Das Wiener Fürstentreffen von 1515: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Habsburgisch-Jagiellonischen Doppelvermählung. Edited by Bogusław Dybaś and István Tringli. Reviewed by Katarzyna Niemczyk 846

Život u srednjovjekovnom Splitu: Svakodnevica obrtnika u 14. i 15. stoljeću [Life in Medieval Split: Everyday Life of Craftsmen in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries]. By Tonija Andrić. Biblioteka Hrvatska povjesnica, Monografije i studije, III/79. Reviewed by Zrinka Nikolić Jakus 849

Erdélyi országgyűlések a 16–17. században [Transylvanian Assemblies in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries]. By Teréz Oborni. Reviewed by János Nagy 853

Házasság Budán: Családtörténetek a török kiűzése után újjászülető (fő)városból 1686–1726 [Marriage in Buda: Family Histories in the (Capital) City Reborn After the Expulsion of the Turks]. By Eleonóra Géra. Reviewed by Lilla Krász 857

Egy tudós hazafi Bécsben: Görög Demeter és könyvtára [A Learned Patriot in Vienna: Demeter Görög and His Library]. By Edina Zvara. Reviewed by Attila Verók 861

Landscapes of Disease: Malaria in Modern Greece. By Katerina Gardikas. Reviewed by Róbert Balogh 864

A Contested Borderland: Competing Russian and Romanian Visions of Bessarabia in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century. By Andrei Cuşco. Reviewed by Ágoston Berecz 867

Embers of Empire: Continuity and Rupture in the Habsburg Successor States after 1918. Edited by Paul Miller and Claire Morelon. Reviewed by Florian Kührer-Wielach 870

Social Sciences in the Other Europe Since 1945. Edited by Adela Hîncu and Victor Karady. Reviewed by Réka Krizmanics 874

Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party. By A. James McAdams. Reviewed by Tom Junes 878

Volume 7 Issue 4

Trianon: Collapse 1918–1921

Balázs Ablonczy Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Mark Cornwall
The Flickering Lighthouse: Rethinking the British Judgement on Trianon 3

Abstract

Abstract

This article reassesses the official British discourse around the Treaty of Trianon between 1919 and 1921. It studies a range of colorful opinions for and against the treaty, why they emerged at particular times, and why some could prevail over others. Especially it focuses on the rationale of those British parliamentarians or officials who spoke out against Trianon as being unjust to Hungary. These leading voices had varied backgrounds and prejudices, but they all had personal knowledge of Hungary either before or after World War I. The article is divided into three time-periods, thereby highlighting the main shifts in British opinion that were often caused by geo-political changes in Hungary itself. While the key British decisions were taken in 1919 at the time of the Paris Peace Conference, the vibrant and public British debate of 1920–21 also had a long-term impact: it sustained Hungarian hopes and illusions about a future revision of Trianon and about potential British sympathy. In fact, despite the strident voices heard during the British debate, the evidence suggests that there was more agreement among the British elite than some historians have suggested. By 1921, both opponents and supporters of Trianon had reached a certain pragmatic consensus; they recognized both the faults and the fairness of the peace settlement, but most now considered there could be no return to greater Hungary.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Etienne Boisserie
Autumn 1918–Spring 1919: Six Months of Postwar Material and Political Uncertainty in Slovakia 26

Abstract

Abstract

A few weeks after the Czechoslovak State has been proclaimed in Prague (October 28, 1918), Slovak territory is still a battleground for political and military control. Mid-January, the Czechoslovak forces are about to control the demarcation line under the command of Italian officers. But still, at that time, political and material problems surrounding the real control of the territory are hardly overlapped (and won’t be for almost a semester). This paper intends to observe and analyze this short period of time (February–June 1919) when the material and psychological consequences of World War I cumulate with a weak legitimacy of the (Czecho)Slovak authorities, multiple material obstacles and the lack of experience of the so-called government in Bratislava. Those uncertainties are cruelly reminded in the personal–official and unofficial correspondence–of the main Slovak protagonists who describe a situation far from being controlled as the propaganda puts it. The paper is based on archives of Slovak National Archive, and namely the general Minister plenipotentiary fond, and some personal archives of the main political actors of that period in Slovakia (mostly Vavro Šrobár, Ivan Markovič, Pavel Blaho, Fedor Houdek, Anton Štefánek). We shall also use some elements of the Regional Military Command (ZVV) Košice available at the National Military Archiv, and notably the regional reports.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Jernej Kosi
Summer of 1919: A Radical, Irreversible, Liberating Break in Prekmurje/Muravidék? 51

Abstract

Abstract

In this article, I examine political, cultural and social circumstances in Prekmurje/Muravidék after its occupation by Yugoslav forces in August 1919. Since the mid-19th century, Slovene national activists in Cislanthania had considered this part of the Kingdom of Hungary as a territory densely populated by Slovene compatriots and therefore as an integral part of Slovene national space. Drawing on this belief, in 1919 Slovene officials, politicians, and journalists celebrated the act of occupation of Hungarian territory as an event that brought to the end of Hungarian oppression to the locals and with it a radical, irreversible and liberating break with the past. By examining archival sources and secondary literature, I confront the victorious Slovene discourse with the reality on the ground. In addition, I also assess how a set of administrative ruptures and legislative changes imposed by the Yugoslav government in the immediate post-1919 period influenced the everyday lives and experiences of the local population.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Balázs Ablonczy
“It Is an Unpatriotic Act to Flee”: The Refugee Experience after the Treaty of Trianon. Between State Practices and Neglect 69

Abstract

Abstract

In the wake of World War I, the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy and creation of new political borders in accordance with the peace treaties prompted more than 400,000 people from the lost territories to seek refuge in Hungary. In this essay, I map the policies adopted by the Hungarian state in its efforts to integrate and pacify refugees, but also at times to discourage refugees from coming to Trianon Hungary. These policies were implemented with the participation of ministries, refugee organizations, large state-run enterprises, and municipal councils. I also interpret the various strategies used by individual actors in these processes. Taken together, the policies and strategies adopted by the state demonstrate the de facto prolongation of wartime administrative practices and offer examples of how the state turned against its own Christian, nationalist, and authoritarian ideology in the course of its efforts to keep prospective refugees from entering post-Trianon Hungary. How the questions raised by the refugee crises were tackled in the country was conditioned by multiple considerations and perspectives. The ambiguities of the policies that were adopted explain in part the long silence that has fallen over the issue of post–World War I refugees in Hungary.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Réka Krizmanics
Addressing the Trianon Peace Treaty in Late Socialist Hungary: Societal Interest and Available Narratives 90

Abstract

Abstract

In the 1970s and 1980s, the state socialist regime of Hungary was aware of its failure to provide serious ideological reflection on the national question. The party actively sought information about contemporary historical and national consciousness and reacted both in policy and institutional terms. Within the framework of these developments, discourses about the Trianon Peace Treaty of 1920, which constitutes an especially traumatic episode of twentieth-century Hungarian history, also started to become more varied. Historians were in the center of these processes, although they operated often in a reactive manner both with regard to domestic journalistic and literary circles and to foreign scholars who discussed the same issue. The article provides an overview of the dynamics of late socialist science policy pertaining to the national question and the different discourses about the Trianon Peace Treaty that emerged during this period.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Viewpoints

Pál Fodor, and Attila Pók
The Hungarians in Europe: A Thousand Years on the Frontier 113

Abstract

Abstract

The paper is a revised version of the first in a series of twelve lectures on Hungarian history at the University of Vienna, starting on October 5, 2017. It discusses some key issues of Hungarian history around the theme of continuities and discontinuities. Namely, a particular dynamism of Hungarian history derives from the incongruence between the historical narrative of the Hungarian state and the historical narrative of the Hungarian nation for extended periods during the last thousand years. The survey addresses political, social, economic and cultural aspects of Hungarian history and concludes by arguing that the adoption of Christianity and the foundation of the Hungarian state by the first king, Saint Stephen, are the longest-lasting achievements of Hungarian history, properly commemorated by the most important national holiday on August 20.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Book Reviews

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Antemurale Christianitatis: Zur Genese der Bollwerksrhetorik im östlichen Mitteleuropa an der Schwelle vom Mittelalter zur Frühen Neuzeit. By Paul Srodecki. Reviewed by Emőke Rita Szilágyi 140

Az indigenák [The indigenae]. Edited by István M. Szijártó. Reviewed by Ágoston Nagy 143

The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire. By A. Wess Mitchell. Reviewed by Robert J. W. Evans 148

“Engesztelhetetlen gyűlölet”: Válás Budapesten (1850–1914) [“Implacable hatred”: Divorce in Budapest, 1850–1914]. By Sándor Nagy. Reviewed by Eleonóra Géra 151

Everyday Nationalism in Hungary 1789–1867. By Alexander Maxwell. Reviewed by Imre Tarafás 153

Magyarok a bécsi hivatalnokvilágban: A közös külügyminisztérium magyar tisztviselői 1867–1914 [Hungarians in the Viennese bureaucracy: Hungarian officers in the joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1867–1914]. By Éva Somogyi. Reviewed by Veronika Eszik 157

Traumatársadalom: Az emlékezetpolitika történeti-szociológiai kritikája [The society of trauma: The historical-sociological critique of memory politics]. By Máté Zombory. Reviewed by Ferenc Laczó 161

Making Ethnicity in Southern Bessarabia: Tracing the Histories of an Ambiguous Concept in a Contested Land. By Simon Schlegel. Reviewed by R. Chris Davis 165

Hungarian Religion, Romanian Blood: A Minority’s Struggle for National Belonging, 1920–1945. By R. Chris Davies. Reviewed by Gábor Egry 168

The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia. By Zsófia Lóránd. Reviewed by Adela Hincu 171

Enyhülés és emancipáció [Détente and emancipation]. By Csaba Békés. Reviewed by Balázs Apor 174

 

Volume 5 Issue 4

Medieval Economic History

Boglárka Weisz and Tamás Pálosfalvi
Special Editors of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Krisztina Arany

Florentine Families in Hungary in the First Half of the Fifteenth Century

Abstract

Abstract

This essay, based on a prosopographic database backed by extensive archival research both in Florence and Hungary, offers an overview on the patterns of the presence of Florentine merchants in medieval Hungary. Among the research questions, the Florentine businessmen’s main fields of interest in the kingdom are of utmost importance, because their interests shaped the patterns of their presence in the kingdom. Also, their financial and economic background in Florence significantly influenced the opportunities they had in Hungary. Thus, the forms of cooperation within the closer local and extended international networks within which they moved prove to be revealing with regards to business as it was run in Hungary. The reconstruction of this network also allows us to identify clusters of Florentine business partners residing in Florence who were investing in Hungary by cooperating with their fellow countrymen actively present in the country. I also offer a detailed analysis of the Florentines’ use of credit in Hungary, focusing on both commercial and money credit transactions and the various forms of transactions used to run business ventures there. Finally, I examine Buda’s role as a royal seat and major trade hub from the point of view of the two major foreign trading diasporas hosted in the town, the Italian/Florentine and southern German ethnic groups. I offer a comparative analysis of their interaction and the different patterns of their social ambitions and economic activity in Buda.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Katalin Prajda

Florentines’ Trade in the Kingdom of Hungary in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: Trade Routes, Networks, and Commodities

Abstract

Abstract

The article proposes to analyze some general characteristics of Florentine merchants’ trade in the Kingdom of Hungary in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries on the basis of written sources housed predominantly by various Italian archives. It opens with a new evaluation of the importance of Florentine merchants in long-distance trade by examining examples of the organizational framework of their enterprises in the town of Buda during the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg (1387–1437). It also looks at the well-known cases of the families that were engaged in trade in Hungary, beginning with the period of Louis I (1342–82) and ending with the reign of Matthias Corvinus (1458–90). The second subchapter concentrates on the commodities transported by Florentines between the two states by describing their nature and their quantitative and qualitative features mentioned in the documents. Among the commercial goods, the article considers the import and export of metals like gold, silver, and copper, as well as Florentine silk and wool. It also mentions exotic animals and spices transported from extra-European territories. The third part of the article offers a reconstruction of the outreach of the Florentine network operating in Hungary, with particular consideration of its most important markets for raw materials and luxury goods. The fourth subchapter discusses the commercial routes used by Florentines when transporting their goods between the towns of Buda and Florence, emphasizing the importance of Venice as a major trading hub along the route. The conclusion puts the Florentines’ trade in Hungary into a broader picture of international trade, and it draws connections between the development of the Florentine silk industry, for which the city became famous, and the marketing of its finished products in Hungary.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

István Draskóczy

Austrian Salt in Pozsony in the Mid-Fifteenth Century

Abstract

Abstract

In this essay, I explore how the city of Pozsony (Preßburg, today Bratislava, Slovakia), which lies in the valley of the Danube River on what was once the most important trade route connecting the Kingdom of Hungary with Western Europe, managed to acquire Austrian salt, an import that, in general, was forbidden by the rulers. The city facilitated this not only by obtaining a number of privileges, but also by farming the tax collected in the city on foreign trade, the so-called “thirtieth” (tricesima). In practice, however, this could only be done in varying ways. In the course of my research, it also became clear that Pozsony needed Austrian salt for a variety of reasons. The city was distant from the salt mines, so the Transylvanian salt that was brought to the borderlands in the west was already very expensive. In many cases, however, none of the salt that was produced in the country even made it to Pozsony because of the complications posed by transportation, the deficiencies of the fiscal system, and fluctuations in production. The Austrian salt mines, in contrast, were relatively nearby, the cooked salt that was produced at these mines was essentially consistent in its quality, and it was also less expensive. In this essay, I also examine how the quantities of salt that were imported from Austria changed in various periods and how the city marketed excess salt in other parts of the country. Naturally, the people of Pozsony were not able to sell the salt in the entire territory of Hungary. My analysis indicates that the market for this salt was limited to the County of Pozsony itself, part of Nyitra County, the part of Komárom County to the north of the Danube River, and parts of Győr and Moson Counties.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Maxim Mordovin

Bavarian Cloth Seals in Hungary

Abstract

Abstract

The import of cloth was one of the most important sectors of international trade throughout the European Middle Ages and early modern period. Its history and impact on medieval economies have been studied by scholars for quite a long time, creating the impression that there are no new sources waiting to be found. Improved methods of archaeological excavations, however, have produced data significant to the international trade connections. This data was hidden in small leaden seals that were attached to the textile fabrics indicating their quality and origin. In this paper, I examine the cloth seals originating from Bavaria that have been found so far in the Carpathian Basin and compare the information provided by them with that already known from the available written sources. This comparison leads to several important conclusions. Perhaps most importantly, the dating range of the known cloth seals can be convincingly limited within the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries for all the nineteen known textile production centers. Also, the cloth marked by these seals indicates that some serious changes arose in textile consumption at the end of the Middle Ages. In this study, I identify some new places of origin not mentioned in the written sources and trace their distribution in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Mária Pakucs-Willcocks

Between “Faithful Subjects” and “Pernicious Nation”: Greek Merchants in the Principality of Transylvania in the Seventeenth Century

Abstract

Abstract

Towns in Transylvania were among the first in which Balkan Greeks settled in their advance into Central Europe. In this essay, I investigate the evolution of the juridical status of the Greeks within the Transylvanian principality during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in order to understand how they were integrated into the institutional and juridical framework of Transylvania. A reinterpretation of available privilege charters granted to the Greeks in Transylvania sheds light on the evolution of their official status during the period in question and on the nature of the “companies” the Greeks founded in certain towns of the principality in the seventeenth century. A close reading of the sources reveals tensions between tax-paying Greeks, whom the seventeenth century Transylvanian princes referred to as their “subjects of the Greek nation,” and the non-resident Greek merchants. Furthermore, strong inconsistencies existed between central and local policies towards the Greeks. I analyze these discrepancies between the princely privileges accorded to the Greeks and the status of the Greek merchants in Nagyszeben (Hermannstadt, today Sibiu, Romania) in particular. The city fathers of this town adhered strongly to their privilege of staple right and insisted on imposing it on the Greek merchants, but the princely grants in favor of the Greeks nullified de facto the provisions of the staple right. While they had obtained concessions that allowed them to settle into Transylvania, Greeks nevertheless negotiated their juridical status with the local authorities of Nagyszeben as well.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Andrea Fara

Production of and Trade in Food Between the Kingdom of Hungary and Europe in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries): The Roles of Markets in Crises and Famines

Abstract

Abstract

Over the late Middle Ages and the early Modern Period, Western Europe was stricken by cyclical crises of subsistence or famines, related to several economic and social factors, such as the trend of production and the increasing price of wheat, the inadequate functioning of the market, the inappropriate intervention policies at the time of particular difficulties, and so on. In the Kingdom of Hungary crises and famines were caused by the same forces. But, surprisingly, cyclical large crises of subsistence and vast course famines had been nearly unknown in the kingdom between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. In this context, it is argued that the models of Ernest Labrousse and Amartya Sen may explain the emergence and development of crisis and famine not only and simply by the occurrence of exogenous forces such as a fall in crops, environmental shocks, war events and so on, but also and above all through a deeper analysis of the market, its functioning and its degree of integration with other markets. The paper thus highlights the particular Hungarian alimentary regime as characterized by a non-contradiction, but rather a thorough-penetration, relationship between agricultural and sylvan-pastoral activities. This not-contradiction was reflected by an alimentary equilibrium that characterized the kingdom throughout the period. In comparison with other parts of Europe, in Hungary alimentary alternatives such as grain, meat and fish remained accessible to most of the population, so the inhabitants’ normal diet remained diversified and not entirely based on cereals. The specific production and exchange structures of the kingdom permitted the maintenance of this alimentary equilibrium that prevented the rise of vast alimentary crises, unless a shock such as war, climatic difficulties and so on occurred. Another reason for the absence of vast course famines was the kingdom’s place in the exchange structures of Europe. The paper argues that, while wars—first of all against the Ottoman Empire—caused great damages and problems in food supplying, the complex economic interaction between crisis, famine and war that characterized the Hungary between over late Middle Ages and the early Modern Period is evidence of the kingdom’s increasing and notable maturation as a market in the European context.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

 

Featured reviews

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

The Habsburg Empire: A New History. By Pieter M. Judson. Reviewed by Judit Pál

Thinking through Transition: Liberal Democracy, Authoritarian Pasts, and Intellectual History in East Central Europe After 1989. Edited by Michal Kopeček and Piotr Wciślik. Reviewed by Augusta Dimou


Book reviews

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Money and Finance in Central Europe during the Later Middle Ages. Edited by Roman Zaoral. Reviewed by István Kádas

Medieval Visegrád: Archaeology, Art History and History of a Medieval Royal Centre. Volume 1. The Medieval Royal Palace at Visegrád. Edited by Gergely Buzás and József Laszlovszky.
Volume 2. The Medieval Royal Town at Visegrád: Royal Centre, Urban Settlement, Churches. Edited by Gergely Buzás, József Laszlovszky, and Orsolya Mészáros. Reviewed by László Szabolcs Gulyás

Medieval East Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective: From Frontier Zones to Lands in Focus. Edited by Gerhard Jaritz and Katalin Szende. Reviewed by Eduard Mühle

Hogyan lett Buda a középkori Magyarország fővárosa? A budai királyi székhely története a 12. század végétől a 14. század közepéig [How did Buda become the capital of medieval Hungary? The history of the royal seat of Buda from the end of the twelfth century to the middle of the fourteenth]. By Enikő Spekner. Reviewed by Péter Galambosi

Az esztergomi székeskáptalan a 15. században. I. rész. A kanonoki testület és az egyetemjárás [The Cathedral Chapter of Esztergom in the fifteenth century. Volume 1. Canonical body and university studies]. By Norbert C. Tóth. Reviewed by Tamás Fedeles

Hybrid Renaissance: Culture, Language, Architecture. By Peter Burke. Reviewed by Levente Seláf
Versailles: Une histoire naturelle. By Grégory Quenet. Reviewed by Catherine Szanto

Pázmány, a jezsuita érsek: Kinevezésének története, 1615–1616. Mikropolitikai tanulmány [Pázmány, the Jesuit prelate: His appointment as Primate of Hungary, 1615–1616. A micro-political study]. By Péter Tusor. Reviewed by Tibor Martí

Habsburg post mortem: Betrachtungen zum Weiterleben der Habsburgermonarchie. By Carlo Moos. Reviewed by Adam Kożuchowski

Zensus und Ethnizität: Zur Herstellung von Wissen über soziale Wirklichkeiten im Habsburgerreich zwischen 1848 und 1910. By Wolfgang Göderle. Reviewed by Borbála Zsuzsanna Török

Gewalt und Koexistenz: Muslime und Christen im spätosmanischen Kosovo (1870–1913). By Eva Anne Frantz. Reviewed by Isa Blumi

Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions. By Ali Yaycioglu. Reviewed by Adam Mestyan

The Making of the Greek Genocide: Contested Memories of the Ottoman Greek Catastrophe. By Erik Sjöberg. Reviewed by Uğur Ümit Üngör

Keletre, magyar! A magyar turanizmus története [To the East, Hungarian! A history of Turanism in Hungary]. By Balázs Ablonczy. Reviewed by Ferenc Laczó

The First World War and German National Identity: The Dual Alliance at War. By Jan Vermeiren. Reviewed by Tamás Révész

Edvard Beneš: Un drame entre Hitler et Staline. By Antoinе Marès. Reviewed by Aliaksandr Piahanau

Unified Military Industries of the Soviet Bloc: Hungary and the Division of Labor in Military Production. By Pál Germuska. Reviewed by Laurien Crump

The Warsaw Pact Reconsidered: International Relations in Eastern Europe, 1955–69. By Laurien Crump. Reviewed by Bogdan C. Iacob

Volume 5 Issue 4

Historical Traumas in Post-War Hungary:
Legacies and Representations of Genocide and Dictatorship

Balázs Apor Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Zsolt Győri     

Discursive (De)Constructions of the Depoliticized Private Sphere in The Resolution and Balaton Retro

Abstract

Abstract

In this article I examine Gyula Gazdag and Judit Ember’s documentary The Resolution [A határozat, 1972] and Gábor Zsigmond Papp’s Balaton Retro [Balaton retró, 2007] as examples of the discursive production of paradoxes permeating the consolidated Kádár regime. I present the first film, portraying the character assassination of József Ferenczi (the executive manager of the Felcsút cooperative farm in the early 1970s) as a case study of state socialist technologies of power and strategies of constructing the narrative of the immoral and profiteering leader type, the corrupted servant of the community. This fabricated narrative is actually contested by members of the cooperative farm for whom Ferenczi is a symbol of the reform spirit and the promise of prosperity. I argue that the critical power of the film resides both in its meticulous dissection of the discursive and administrative methods used to create enemy images and its reluctance to present a local example of vilification as a general feature of the state socialist episteme. The Resolution presents the consolidated Kádár regime as an establishment torn between rigid ideological foundations and society’s desire for a depoliticised market economy, suffering from the political pressure to remain true to the spirit of communism and the social pressure to allow a greater degree of economic liberalism.
In Balaton Retro the popular tourist destination, Lake Balaton, is constructed as a spatial metaphor of both the crisis of the authoritarian system and of Goulash Communism (the name given to the system in Hungary, which constituted a quiet deviation from orthodox doctrines of Marxism-Leninism). The popular notion of the lake as the Hungarian Riviera came into being at the intersection of eastern and western understandings of welfare: on the one hand, the welfare state providing workers cheap holiday opportunities through a network of state-run holiday apartments and camps for children, and on the other, individual welfare, the possessors of which (usually citizens of Western Europe) sought leisure in modern luxury hotels. The emergence of private houses available for well-salaried Hungarian customers was another sign of the many dualities and hybrid meanings uncovered by Papp’s film as symptoms of the general state of the nation during the Kádár era. My analysis of the agency of the voiceover narration will reveal that Balaton Retro is not a manifestation of Ostalgie, but a critical meta-commentary on nostalgic memory. To conclude, I will describe retro as the commodification of a material past and nostalgia as a somewhat sinister legacy of state socialist identity politics.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Tamás Bezsenyi and András Lénárt

The Legacy of World War II and Belated Justice in the Hungarian Films of the Early Kádár Era

Abstract

Abstract

In this article, we analyze the role of Hungarian films made in the 1960s in representing the traumatic legacy of World War II. With the solidification of the official narrative of the Holocaust in the mid-1960s, the Hungarian film industry also started to reflect on the tragedy of the Jews at the same time (which was not a terribly conspicuous part of the official narrative). The article focuses on six films as illustrations of the extent to which it was possible to reflect on the traumatic past in the early Kádár era, with particular emphasis on the legacy of the Holocaust. The films selected revolve around the question of individual responsibility, but they also depict psychological conflicts and portray the character’s attempts to prompt collective remembering. We argue that despite the communists’ claims of moral superiority, peace and reconciliation remains unattainable for the characters in the films because of the inability of the new social milieu to facilitate the process of coming to terms with past traumas.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Péter Fodor

Erasing, Rewriting, and Propaganda in the Hungarian Sports Films of the 1950s

Abstract

Abstract

In the years following World War II, the radical structural transformation of Hungarian society and the establishment of the communist dictatorship affected the functioning of sports as a social subsystem. At the time, the Hungarian public still remembered the sporting successes of the Horthy era (the Berlin Olympics, the 1938 FIFA World Cup) from the previous decade. Thus, the Sovietization of sports as a social subsystem had two intertwining goals in Hungary: in addition to creating a new institutional framework for sports, the regime also had to ensure good results, which were regarded as a matter of prestige. Like the daily press, the schematic film productions of the era were also characterized by the ideological utilization of sports. A typical example of the schematic style was Civil a pályán [Try and Win, 1951] by Márton Keleti, which used classical comedy elements to bring together the world of the factory and the world of the soccer field. Keleti’s film was intended to popularize a centralized mass sports movement of Soviet origins called “Ready to work and fight” and to communicate the party’s message to professional sportsmen who were considering emigration. The two versions of Csodacsatár [The Football Star, 1956 and 1957], also by Keleti, reveal a lot about the changes that the role of sports in state propaganda and political image construction underwent after the loss to West Germany in the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final and then after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. My paper seeks to interpret these films within the context of the era’s political and sports history.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Anna Menyhért

Digital Trauma Processing in Social Media Groups: Transgenerational Holocaust Trauma on Facebook

Abstract

Abstract

In recent years, more and more social media (Facebook) groups have been created dealing with memories of the Holocaust in Hungary. In this article, I analyze and compare two groups, “The Holocaust and My Family” and “The Descendants of the Victims and Survivors of the Holocaust” in the framework of my research project on the concept of digital trauma processing, entitled “Trauma Studies in the Digital Age: The Impact of Social Media on Trauma Processing in Life Narratives and Trauma Literature: the Case of Hungary.” I show how the concept of trauma and trauma processing itself are changing in the digital age as a consequence of the element of sharing (in posts and comments in digital media) gains more importance and thus counteracts the element of silence, which was considered the most important element of trauma on several levels. How does digital sharing of memories of traumas help unblock previously blocked avenues to the past, and how does it contribute to the processing of collective historical traumas and consequently to the mobilization of memories, modernization, and the transformation of identities? I examine how the given characteristics of the different types of Facebook groups, public or closed, influence the ways in which people communicate about a collective historical trauma. I touch upon the issue of research ethics in connection with the handling of sensitive data in social media research. I examine the book The Holocaust and My Family, a collection of posts from the group, and analyze as a case study a post and the related comments, in which a descendant of a perpetrator comes out in the group.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Zsófia Réti

Past Traumas and Future Generations: Cultural Memory Transmission in Hungarian Sites of Memory

Abstract

Abstract

Now that we have reached the mid-2010s, a new generation of Hungarian citizens has grown up; the first Hungarian adults to have absolutely no memory of the state socialist period. It is not only a matter of “reconciliation,” “coming to terms with the past,” or “confessing the past” that are at stake here, but also making the past relevant to people who were born too late to experience it. Due to their lack of information, this generation is extremely susceptible to the various, often contradictory interpretations of the past, and because of their age, they bear the specific characteristics of the so-called Gen Z, the digital natives. How is the communist legacy represented to them? What are the primary media of historical knowledge transmission about the Kádár era? What are its main claims, what kinds of narratives are being presented, and how do young people react to these narratives? How does narrating the communist past affect the national identity of the youth? These are the primary questions I seek to answer in this essay. In addition to all the hardships and horrors of the twentieth century (World War I and II, 1956), there is one more trauma that post-socialist Hungarian society needs to deal with: the cultural rupture of 1989/90, which burned all the bridges between past and future, rendering all at once the language of parents unintelligible to their children and changing the ways in which the traumas of the past were contextualized in Hungarian cultural memory. Based on this fundamental assumption, in this essay I compare the practices adopted by the two most prominent Hungarian communism-related memory projects: the House of Terror and Memento Park. I combine two methods—discourse analysis of the written materials found in the two museums and semi-structured interviews with teenagers—in order to provide a balanced, interdisciplinary approach to the topic.
The two museum spaces in question present very different segments of Hungarian cultural memory. More precisely, they reflect on different pasts. The interplay and interference of memories related to the early and the late periods of the Kádár era, which are on display in the two museums, along with the reaction of young people to these memories provide fertile grounds for an examination of collective memory practices related to both the “system change” and the preceding period. I conclude by considering the possible ways, good practices, and existing solutions to the transmission of the traumatic experiences of the recent and not so recent past to the next generation and by offering a framework in which traumatic and nostalgic approaches to the past do not contradict, but rather complement each other.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Lóránt Bódi

The Documents of a Fresh Start in Life: Marriage Advertisements Published in the Israelite Newspaper Új Élet (New Life) Between 1945–1952

Abstract

Abstract

Almost two-thirds of the Hungarian Jewry was killed in the Holocaust. The genocide seriously distorted the sex ratio and the generational composition of the surviving Jewish community. Most married individuals lost their spouses, and  the extensive networks of relatives were also eliminated. The growing nu mber of weddings after the war was the first sign of the Jewish community’s recovery from wartime traumas. This study examines how the Hungarian Jewry rose above the traumas and devastations of the war. It addresses this problem from the perspective of the matrimonial ads published in the Israelite newspaper Új Élet between 1946 and 1952. Marriage ads could be considered collective social practices that shed light on the “publicalization” of private life. Despite their rigid narrative structure, these documents also reveal the voices of the surviving community after the war. The article will address the most common themes in marriage ads, including exile, the foundation of Israel, wartime trauma, and the loss of a spouse.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Featured review

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

The Routledge History of East Central Europe since 1700.
Edited by Irina Livezeanu and Árpád von Klimó. Reviewed by Ferenc Laczó    427

Book reviews

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Central Europe in the High Middle Ages: Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, c. 900–c. 1300. By Nora Berend, Przemysław Urbańczyk, and Przemysław Wiszewski.
Reviewed by Sébastien Rossignol     434

Deserting Villages – Emerging Market Towns: Settlement Dynamics and Land Management in the Great Hungarian Plain: 1300–1700. By Edit Sárosi.
Reviewed by András Vadas    437

Das Reich als Netzwerk der Fürsten: Politische Strukturen unter dem Doppelkönigtum Friedrichs II. und Heinrichs (VII.) 1225–1235.
By Robert Gramsch. Reviewed by Veronika Rudolf    440

Ritual and Symbolic Communication in Medieval Hungary under the Árpád Dynasty. By Dušan Zupka. Reviewed by Judit Gál    444

Székesfehérvár története az Árpád-korban [The history of Székesfehérvár in the Árpádian period]. By Attila Zsoldos, Gábor Thoroczkay, and Gergely Kiss.
Reviewed by Renáta Skorka    447

Das Wiener Stadtzeichnerbuch 1678–1685: Ein Bettlerverzeichnis aus einer frühneuzeitlichen Stadt. By Sarah Pichlkastner.
Reviewed by István H. Németh    451

A test a társadalomban: A Hajnal István Kör Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület 2013. évi sümegi konferenciájának kötete [The body in society: Proceedings of the conference of the Hajnal István Circle – Hungarian Social History Association, Sümeg, 2013]. Edited by Emese Gyimesi, András Lénárt, and Erzsébet Takács.
Reviewed by Janka Kovács    456

Metternich: Stratege und Visionär. Eine Biografie. By Wolfram Siemann.
Reviewed by Franz L. Fillafer    460

Experten und Beamte: Die Professionalisierung der Lehrer höherer Schulen
in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Ungarn und Preußen im Vergleich.
By Márkus Keller. Reviewed by Brigitte Mazohl     464

Habsburg neu denken: Vielfalt und Ambivalenz in Zentraleuropa. 30 kulturwissenschaftliche Stichworte. Edited by Johannes Feichtinger
and Heidemarie Uhl. Reviewed by William D. Godsey    467

Eugenics and Nation in Early 20th Century Hungary. By Marius Turda.
Reviewed by Attila Kund    470

Etnicitás, identitás, politika: Magyar kisebbségek nacionalizmus és regionalizmus között Romániában és Csehszlovákiában 1918–1944 [Ethnicity, identity, politics: Hungarian minorities between nationalism and regionalism in Romania and Czechoslovakia, 1918–1944]. By Gábor Egry.
Reviewed by Máté Rigó    473

Két évtized: A kolozsvári zsidóság a két világháború között [Two decades:
The Jewry of Kolozsvár between the two world wars]. By Attila Gidó.
Reviewed by Zoltán Tibori Szabó    479

Căpitan Codreanu: Aufstieg und Fall des rumänischen Faschistenführers.
By Oliver Jens Schmitt. Reviewed by Radu Harald Dinu    483

Demokrácia negyvenötben [Democracy in 1945]. By Éva Standeisky.
Reviewed by Gábor Egry    486

A magyar irodalomtudomány szovjetizálása: A szocialista realista kritika és intézményei, 1945–1953 [The Sovietization of Hungarian literary studies: Socialist realist criticism and its institutions, 1945–1953]. By Tamás Scheibner.
Reviewed by Zsolt K. Horváth    489

The Emergence of Historical Forensic Expertise: Clio Takes the Stand.
By Vladimir Petrovic. Reviewed by Iva Vukusic     493

Volume 5 Issue 4

Migration and Refugees

Ulf Brunnbauer and Gábor Demeter Special Editors of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Ulf Brunnbauer     

Introduction to the Special Issue: Migration and East Central Europe – a Perennial but Unhappy Relationship    497

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Articles

Sever Cristian Oancea     

Integration Through Confession? Lutheran Migration from Upper Hungary to Sibiu After 1671 – Isaak Zabanius    502

Abstract

Abstract

This study addresses the Hungarian migration in the Early Modern Era from Upper Hungary to Transylvania, focusing primarily on the biography of the Slovak Lutheran theologian Isaak Zabanius. Beginning with current historiography debates and covering the spectrum of anthropologic social historical views, it follows the exile story of this migrant, beginning with his departure for Toruń and Danzig (today Gdańsk, Poland) until his final settlement in Sibiu (Hermannstadt). I address two main questions in this article: did Zabanius migrate to Transylvania for confessional reasons, or was he motivated by economic considerations? How did he integrate into Transylvanian Saxon society? The contemporary sources indicate that he came to Transylvania because of his social network and only after having been given a position at the gymnasium of Sibiu. His integration was a success: he and his offspring became part of the local elite by ascending into the highest church and occupying political positions. Social integration in this case also represented assimilation and Germanization.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Stelu Şerban  

From Forced Migration to New Patterns of Social Life: Bulgarian Refugees in Teleorman County, Romania, in the Nineteenth Century    520

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to discern the insertion strategies of the Bulgarian migrant waves to Wallachia, focusing on Teleorman County as a case study. The largest waves of Bulgarian migrants to Wallachia occurred in the first half of nineteenth century as a consequence of the two Ottoman–Russian wars. Teleorman County is a special case, as with its four urban centers, it had more such settlements than any other county in Wallachia. The Bulgarian migrants to Teleorman settled mainly in these centers. One must draw a distinction between the patterns of the upper social strata (which included city dwellers, merchants, and landowners) and the “common” Bulgarians, who lived in rural areas and worked in the fields and gardens. I focus on the urban strategies of insertion in the first half of the nineteenth century and on the ways in which these strategies persisted in the latter half of the century, with the foundation of the city of Alexandria as a privileged site. I offer sketches of the lives of important Bulgarophone families from Teleorman and contextualize their experiences in the framework of urban and economic development.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Ana-Teodora Kurkina     

Mobile Elites: Bulgarian Emigrants in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century and the Accommodation of Difference in the Balkans    543

Abstract

Abstract

This article addresses the issue of accommodating difference through an analysis of a specific group of mobile public actors who can be defined as “mobile elites.” Using the Bulgarian emigrants in the middle of the nineteenth century as a typical case of an exiled elite, I link this case to other European Romantic intellectuals and sketch a grand-scale scheme of regional traffic in ideas. I suggest that emigration as such instigates the consolidation of nationalist elites. Thus, elites can be viewed as large, separate, and often mobile groups, which negotiate their respective interests and search for compromises. I contend that mobile public actors influence the societies in which they dwell by creating sets of networks which stretch over the whole region. The notion of “mobile elites” can therefore be a helpful tool in defining emigrant intellectuals. Furthermore, the activities of these intellectuals shed light on the ways in which migrant groups seek accommodation, pursue their political aims, and attempt to find compromises which can eventually yield beneficial outcomes.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

James P. Niessen     

God Brought the Hungarians: Emigration and Refugee Relief in the Light of Cold War Religion    566

Abstract

Abstract

The ample literature on the Hungarian refugee crisis of 1956/57 has focused on its diplomatic and political aspects, mentioning the role of religions and faith-based organizations only in passing. This study seeks to address this lacuna by focusing on religion as an element of the Cold War, a motive for emigration, and an organizing framework for refugee relief. The chronology begins with the end of World War II. Austria, the country of first asylum, and the United States, the dominant financier and resettlement country, are the primary geographic focus. Reflecting the preponderance of Catholics in the Hungarian migrants’ population, special attention is given to Catholic Relief Services, though Jewish aid organizations and the World Council of Churches are not neglected.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Emre Saral     

A Foreign Labor Force in Early Republican Turkey: The Case of Hungarian Migrant Workers    597

Abstract

Abstract

Beginning in the 1920s, Hungarian workers began to migrate to foreign countries for economic and political reasons. Among them, a group of Hungarians including workers, engineers, and trained experts arrived in Turkey. The laborers from Hungary entered the Turkish market before the Residence Convention signed in 1926, which mutually allowed the citizens of both signatories to reside and work in the two countries. As neither government initially implemented the necessary measures, there had been an uncontrolled flow of workers to Turkey. Enduring poor living conditions and facing several problems, including low wages and lack of social insurance, they were employed in jobs such as house building and railroad construction, and they made a serious contribution to the development of the country in the 1920s and 1930s. This essay presents the situation of the Hungarian migrant workers in Turkey in the interwar period on the basis of official documents held in Hungarian, Turkish, and British archives. I examine the socio-economic situation of Hungarians in Anatolia, the obstacles they faced, the stance of and measures adopted by the Turkish government, and the attempts that were made by the Hungarian diplomatic mission on behalf of the Hungarian citizens living in Turkey.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Petra Hamerli     

Croatian Political Refugees Living in Emigration in the Interwar Period: The Case of the Croatian Political Refugees in Hungary    624

Abstract

Abstract

After the disintegraton of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the successor states also had to face the old problem of the “nationality question”. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (which in 1929 became the first incarnation of Yugoslavia) was the most multi-ethnic or multinational state in the region, and this led to conflicts, in particular between Serbs and Croats. When Alexander I introduced the dictatorship (January 6, 1929), many Croats decided to leave Yugoslavia. Most of them emigrated to Latin America, but Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy, as neighboring states, were also popular directions. Many of the refugees left Yugoslavia for political reasons. Most of them emigrated to states that were interested in or actively sought the disintegration or at least weakening of Yugoslavia, such as Hungary and Italy, but many of them chose Austria, Belgium, and Germany. In this essay I focus primarily on the Croatian political refugees living in Hungary. The most important sources on these refugees are found in the Sate Archives of Italy (Archivio Centrale di Stato di Roma, ACS) in the material entitled “Carte Conti,” which includes the list of Croats for whom warrants had been issued and who were followed continuously by the Zagreb police and the Yugoslav authorities for political reasons. I also use primary sources to assess the role that the Croatian camp Jankapuszta, and the house in Nagykanizsa bought by the Ustaše leader Gustav Perčec played in the lives of migrants and in diplomatic calamities. In addition to the sources in the Sate Archives, I also draw on the documents of the Archives of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Archivio Storico Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, ASMAE) and the National Archives of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Országos Levéltára, MNL OL).
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Kristina E. Poznan     

Return Migration to Austria-Hungary from the United States in Homeland Economic and Ethnic Politics and International Diplomacy    647

Abstract

Abstract

While Austro-Hungarian officials initially opposed emigration and considered it disloyal to leave the homeland, the massive growth of transatlantic labor migration, its economic benefits, and its potentially temporary duration prompted a change in governmental attitudes and policy at the turn of the twentieth century. Even as it continued to discourage and police the exit of emigrants, the Hungarian government, in particular, also became an active promoter of return migration. Using files from the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, and the joint Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry, this article examines the Hungarian government’s attempts to encourage return migration to further its economic and nationalist goals. These initiatives emphasized the homecoming of desirable “patriotic” subjects, of Hungarian-speakers, and of farmers and skilled industrial workers to address the state’s perceived labor needs. Officials debated the risks of welcoming back migrants with undesirable social and political orientations and speakers of minority languages, as well as the risks of potential conflicts with the United States government.
Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Featured review

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848–1918. Band XI. Die Habsburgermonarchie und der Erste Weltkrieg. 1. Teilband. Der Kampf um die Neuordnung Mitteleuropas. Teil 1. Vom Balkanenkonflikt zum Weltkrieg. Teil 2. Vom Vielvölkerstaat Österreich-Ungarn zum neuen Europa der Nationalstaaten. Edited by Helmut Rumpler. Reviewed by Rudolf Kučera      668

Book reviews

Full Text (HTML) and Full Text (PDF)

Medieval Buda in Context. Edited by Balázs Nagy, Martyn Rady, Katalin Szende, and András Vadas. Reviewed by Veronika Novák    675

Reneszánsz utazás: Anna királyné 1502-es fogadtatásának ünnepségei Észak-Itáliában és Magyarországon [Renaissance journey: The festivities held to welcome Queen Anne to Northern Italy and Hungary in 1502]. By Attila Györkös. Reviewed by Laura Fábián    680

The Visual World of the Hungarian Angevin Legendary. By Béla Zsolt Szakács. Reviewed by Iván Gerát    683

A zombori ördögűző: Egy 18. századi ferences mentalitása [The exorcist of Zombor: The mentality of an eighteenth-century Franciscan monk]. By Dániel Bárth. Reviewed by Márton Simonkay    686

A multietnikus nemzetállam: Kísérletek, kudarcok és kompromisszumok Csehszlovákia nemzetiségi politikájában 1918–1992 [The multiethnic nation state: Attempts, failures, and compromises in Czechoslovakia’s nationality policy from 1918 to 1992]. By László Szarka. Reviewed by Péter Bencsik    691

A Horthy-kultusz 1919–1944 [The Horthy cult 1919–1944]. By Dávid Turbucz. Reviewed by  Róbert Kerepeszki    695

Szabadkőművesből református püspök: Ravasz László élete [From freemason to reformed church bishop: The life of László Ravasz]. By Pál Hatos. Reviewed by Ákos Bartha    699

Lélektan és politika: Pszichotudományok a magyarországi államszocializmusban 1945–1970 [Psychology and politics: The psycho-sciences under state Socialism in Hungary]. By Melinda Kovai. Reviewed by Gergely Kunt    704

Az első aranykor: A magyar foci 1945-ig [The first Golden Age: Hungarian football up to 1945]. By Péter Szegedi. Reviewed by Dániel Bolgár    709

Jüdische Museen in Ostmitteleuropa. Kontinuitäten – Brüche – Neuanfänge: Prag, Budapest, Bratislava (1993–2012). By Katalin Deme. Reviewed by Peter Hallama    714

Lázadó falvak: Kollektivizálás elleni tüntetések a vidéki Magyarországon, 1951–1961. [Villages in uprising: Demonstrations against collectivization in the Hungarian countryside, 1951–61]. By Gyöngyi Farkas. Reviewed by Gábor Csikós    718

 

Page 1 of 5

SEARCH

Partners

HHR logo